SCBT’s earnings increase
SCBT Financial Corp., parent company of South Carolina Bank & Trust, reported its earnings grew to $8 million in the April through June period from $7 million in January through March as it completed the acquisition of Peoples Bancorporation in the Upstate. The Columbia-based bank has been growing rapidly in the past couple of years, acquiring four banks since 2010. Earnings for the quarter rose 63 percent from $4.9 million from April through June in 2011. SCBT president and CEO Robert Hill said the bank also has gained 50,000 customers to 315,000 over the past 12 months as bigger regional and national banks lost customers amid rising fees. The bank also has benefitted from fewer past-due loans as the economy slowly improves and real estate begins to rebound, Hill said. “We are more profitable today than we were before the (recession),” Hill said. As the banking industry continues to consolidate, Hill said the bank looks at 30 struggling banks a year and buys two or three of them.
Continental Tire is hiring
Continental Tire has posted the first job postings for its new plant in Sumter. The company said in a release it is accepting applications for industrial maintenance technicians and salaried positions for engineers and managers. Applications for production operators will be accepted in late summer. The company will invest more than $500 million in the Sumter plant and create about 1,600 new jobs by 2021 when it is producing up to 8 million tires per year. Another 80 jobs will be created at the company’s South Carolina headquarters in Lancaster County. Continental partnered with readySC and Central Carolina Technical College to help with recruiting and training. To apply, go to readySC.org/conti. The latest information on hiring also can be viewed at www.facebook.com/Continental TireSumterPlant.
World Atlantic Airlines fined
MYRTLE BEACH A carrier that operated flights for now bankrupt Direct Air has been fined $180,0000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation for violating rules intended to protect passengers after Direct Air abruptly stopped flying in March, the DOT said Friday. World Atlantic Airlines, one of several carriers for Direct Air, canceled flights it was scheduled to fly for Direct Air after not getting paid, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which has been investigating Direct Air’s demise since March. Carriers aren’t allowed to cancel flights less than 10 days before their scheduled departure. World Atlantic also didn’t provide transportation, as required, for round-trip passengers who had flown the outbound leg of their trip. World Atlantic could not be immediately reached for comment.
Nation & World
2 Duke Energy directors resign
RALEIGH Two riled directors of America’s largest electric company are resigning, saying they were blindsided by a surprise CEO switch that has put pressure on Duke Energy Corp.’s credit rating and stock price. John Baker II and Theresa Stone resigned Friday and called on the remaining board of directors to start a search to replace current CEO Jim Rogers. Baker and Stone had been on Progress Energy’s board of directors and joined the Duke Energy board when the companies merged July 2. The top Progress Energy executive, who the companies had promised for 18 months would lead the combined company, was ousted hours after the merger deal was done.
Kristy Eppley Rupon, The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News and The Associated Press contributed.